View Full Version : Incandescent

12-23-2009, 03:58 PM
Setting up an old 10g for my son - and want to move some sword plants / java moss and fern. The lid has two ancient 15w white incandescent bulbs. I was thinking of heading to Home Depot (or dare I say Petsmart) to pick up a higher value and wattage set of bulbs - and wondered if anyone had success with 50w total of lights in a 10g? Normal gravel and two HOB filters . . .

Thanks, and Happy Holidays.


12-23-2009, 04:12 PM
Use compact fluorescent that fit in the incandescent sockets. Wal-mart has them, 8. 11, or 13W will be brighter and less hot. than 25W incandescent. I put a little 40W incandescent appliance bulb in a lid once, the lid got somewhat melted.

12-23-2009, 04:41 PM
Great idea! Thanks

12-23-2009, 06:55 PM
In my ten gallon tanks with the incandescent fixture, I use those corkscrew compact fluorescent screw in type bulbs. Wal-Mart has them in 65,000 kelvin and my plants seem to like them. I use 2 x 10 Watt (40 Watt equivalent) per ten gallon. Makes the fish look good, and the plants seem to like it. I think 2 watts per gallon is low light (at least for me it is). Maybe closer to medium, but cabomba, myriophyllum, limnophila, hygrophila, anubias, java fern, water sprite, and java moss love that amount of light. That is my preferred way to light a ten gallon.

12-23-2009, 06:57 PM
Thanks again. I actually already went and picked them up. Great suggestion (other than being at Wally World the day before Christmas Eve!)


12-30-2009, 06:10 PM
How did the bulbs work out in your 10 gal fixture?

12-30-2009, 07:09 PM
Great actually, thanks for asking.

They are about $5.00 per @ WalMart - and here is (appx) what they look like >


With the lid down - looks like a normal fluorescent setup.

A little early to tell but the plants seem to be doing fine.


Holy Samosa
01-02-2010, 10:57 AM
Hey Ken,

Are you injecting CO2 on your 10 gal setup? I've got a couple of 8 watt bulbs in the low tech 10g I'm setting up. I had avoided the 10 watt bulbs as I've ran into algae problems when approaching 2 watts / gallon before adding CO2 in my larger 46 gallon tank, but my experience is limited.


01-02-2010, 11:48 AM
The wpg guidelines don't apply to tanks under 30 gallons. There is a minimum amount of wattage, generally 20 to 30 watts you need, regardless of whether the tank is one gallon or 10. I would recommend using two 10 watt bulbs as the 8 watt bulbs may not be sufficient to grow anything or maybe low light plants only.
I have a 10 gal tank with a 30 watt T12 light on it, and it is a med low to med light tank.

01-02-2010, 01:54 PM
No, I am not pumping cO2 into the 10 gallons. I find that algae does want to grow sometimes, but that if I keep up tank maintenance, and not laze out, it quickly goes away. I keep baby fish in most of my 10 gallon tanks, and that makes it difficult to keep clean (at least for me). As the babies grow larger, the tank needs to be cleaned more often, as they are polluting more. I can hardly clean them once a week (the laze out thing) so when they need more than that, well, I just let the plants and algae grow so they will suck up the excess nutrients. Then as I get rid of the fish, and the parameters of the water clean, the algae goes away, until the next time I have 35 fish in a 10 gallon tank.

Particularly good growers for me are cabomba, limnophila sessiflora, java ferns, hygrophila 'Sunset', ceratopteris thalictroides, nymphiodes sp. 'Taiwan', myriophyllum matogrossense, rotala palustris (which I just started using recently, but it seems to be doing great), among others. While these plants grow, they grow much more slowly than in cO2 tanks. I find it is more important to trim the plants as they grow taller, so that the lower limbs can get light, otherwise the lower limbs will fade away.

But when I keep up maintenance (and don't have a bunch of baby fish in the tank), I don't have a great problem with algae.